Football Blog: Tangerine Flavoured

Saturday, February 12, 2022

11 vs 14: the Mighty vs AFC Bournemouth

Since we last communed, we've played Coventry (bit lucky to hold them off but decent point.) The main highlight of that game was Josh Bowler's superb crossfield ball to Dale to set up the latest Gary Goal (all goals are great goals but Gary Goals are the best goals.) This is further evidence that Bowler is *adding things to his game* other than dribbling into people which is very good news. 

I've also dabbled in the idea of becoming an internet influencer by creating a meme. It didn't turn out very well. I think I could best describe the reaction as 'mixed.' Still. We tried. We failed. There's nothing worse that going to your grave knowing you could have done more with your life than you did is there? Imagine croaking it going "I had an idea out of nowhere that you could take MAdine and yaTES and make the compound word MATES and yet, I did nothing with it! I know! Yes, that's right, they are 'MATES' and you CAN COMBINE THEIR NAMES TO MAKE THAT WORD!! I know right?!... I wish I'd worked less and spent more time with people I love and had more courage to live the life I wanted, not the life that the relentless forces of deathless capital deemed fit for me and all that, but really, it's that unrealised meme that nags most at me in my final moments... If only... (expires)"


Talking of not dying wondering, I've enjoyed the way we've been a bit more on the front foot of late and I feel worryingly optimistic about today. I reckon if we can get at Bournemouth, we can shake them up a bit and am starting to warm to Connolly (not Connelly as I've termed him in previous blogs) as a midfield enforcer who just gets the ball and gives it to someone else to attack. It's shitty weather and even though theoretically (trendy coach types) we play 'tippy tappy football' we don't actually do that and our trendy coach is a devastatingly effective (sometimes) practitioner of doing whatever works and if that includes having a couple of lads in midfield to kick the opposition up in the air and Big Gaz knocking over defenders like bowling pins, then that's the masterclass we'll have. It may be muddy. I fancy us. 

Of course, as soon as I think 'I've got a good feeling' then the other side of my brain says 'don't type that. Even if you're not publishing this till after the game, you are dooming us to an afternoon where Critch doesn't pick any wingers and selects a crazy 2-4-1-2-1 style experiment where Ethan Robson is the notional creative force and has a particularly Ethan Robsony game and three of our players get injured in the first 15 minutes'  

The diagram below (no expense spared this week) explains why thinking this way is ridiculous, who doesn't think they're at the centre of the universe because of the way our sense and minds work, but palpably, the idea we can influence a football match by our feelings is daft. 

Motivation Monday!


I think Scott Parker looks like a man who probably spends about £2000 to look like a man who spends about £100 on his clothes. 

Kevin Stewart? Remember him? He's playing! Fresh from stints on the Moral Maze and Homes under the Hammer, he's there, in the centre of midfield. Blimey! Critch has given 'MATES' (as all the cool kids are definitely calling them) another go up front which I always like to see. CJ is back as is Connolly, Gabriel is rightly back at right back and Thorniley brings his dutiful hangdog trudge to centre back. Let's go! 

The pitch is heavy and the game is very even. Bournemouth are obviously not utter shite and whilst we press very well and draw appreciation for the harrying of our front 4, they have an early counter attack that's a bit scary and a corner to show for their efforts. We have a lot of hustle and bustle and the fact we're making it a midfield battle means the odd ball pops out of the melee and gets chased down. The best thing we do is an instinctive first time effort from wide from CJ (I definitely wasn't going to flog him to a league 1 club 3 weeks ago honest...) Hamilton that goes wide and over, but shows an encouraging willingness to take on a half chance. 

The ball goes out. Clearly. The referee and the linesman ignore it. It was way out. Bournemouth break. They don't score. Oh well. People make mistakes. 

The Cherries get a corner. In it goes. It goes out. It goes back in again. It goes out again. That's good. Come on Pool! Wait. What the fuck? The ref has given a penalty? Has he? He has! What for? No idea. Literally no idea. Has anyone in the ground got a clue? It doesn't appear they have. What the fuck? 

Step forward Grimmy. He pops into the back of his goal and has a quick toke to sharpen his wits. Then he starts dancing. Bez dancing (not the lad from Crawley, the other one.) Sideways then back, waving one arm like a right madhead. I swear he's in a big cloud of smoke... Here comes the spot kick.... YES!!! It's utter shite!!! He's just side footed like he's me taking a penalty that time the top juniors let me play in their match and I shit one when I got to take a penalty. That was awful. Is there anything Grimmy can't do? 

Minus maracas but plus beard = Grimshaw at the spot kick. 

The midfield genius (that's Callum's new name) has a run. He runs out of anywhere to run. He gives it to CJ. CJ gives it him back. The genius passes it to no one. What was that?... Oh, wait... It was actually quite good! Bowler cuts in, and, hits it, first time, curling away from the keeper, arcing perfectly up and down and into the inside of the far post. 


Not for the first time, there's an air of disbelief at what Bowler has just done. That was outrageous. Again. 

Now he's off again, racing onto to a flick on, haring to the byline, skimming it across goal to where the sniper is sliding in and missing it by a whisker. Suddenly we've got hold of this game and the ground is alive. C'mon Pool! 


It was hard going but we've ended the half well on top and looking good. Again, we're threatening wide and pressing high. Bowler and CJ have stolen the ball several times, Yate is his usual irritating self and even Gary Madine has won a tackle after a bit of closing down. You did not dream that last sentence. It happened. Maybe Jurgen Klopp will be in for him with the contract problems he has? Probably couldn't afford him to be fair unless he gets cash for 2 of 3 of their forwards before then...  


Bournemouth come out and press a bit but don't make much. We counter. Gabriel gallops forward but then gets stuck in the corner. He seems to just stop. Suddenly he starts again, threading it to Bowler, who puts it across and like just before half time Yates can't quite get a touch, but this time, CJ also can't quite get a touch as well. C'mon Pool!!! 

CJ goes wide. He's going full tilt. He pulls it back. Madine is neat and tidy, just moving it on to the exact spot where Bowler needs it to hit it first time. It's both placed and swerving, a side foot rocket with a slightly damaged tail fin that makes it turn in the air. It's heading top corner but their goalie springs and makes a brilliant, brilliant stop. 

We have a corner. The ball pings around. Kev Stewart takes it on the edge of the box, a little side step and a run and SURELY HE WAS TRIPPED THEN???? REF??? REF!!!!!??? Nope. Hmmm. 

Bournemouth come back into it. They press again for a good 5 minutes but we just get the block in, get the header on it, they over or under hit the pass. Then they go wide. But the ball goes out of play. The linesman is right there. Good effort to be up with play. Why are we playing on? Oi! It's a throw! Stop playing! OI!!!! The flag hasn't waved though. The whistle hasn't blown. I actually cannot believe that the three people who are being paid to watch the game and decide if it's gone out of play or not haven't noticed that ball go a foot out of play within about 8 feet of two of them. It's astonishing. It's all a little bit weird. 

It gets worse though. Marvin is down. Marvin is going off. Nice one linesman. At least the blatant cheating incompetence from the officials means Oliver Casey gets to play a football match which is something at least. No offence to the lad from Leeds, but it's a bit shite that just as we've got a midfield of sorts fit, we lose the defence. 

Bournemouth pile on more pressure. Still nothing really threatens to get Grimmy off the sofa and we gradually assert ourselves again. Connolly floats a free kick. It's headed away. CJ strikes it and it flies. It's straight and true and beautiful but it cannons into the bar and out. The bar wobbles for ages. He absolutely caught it perfectly. C'mon Pool!!! 

Bournemouth nearly break through. Yates does magic work, running back from up front to intercept in his own box but then he's just too cute as he tries to set us playing out and they finally test Grimshaw with a rasping drive that he chucks up two strong hands too and diverts over. He's so fucking calm. I'm not... 

They work it down the right. It's spun over, they overload the left. I'm bracing myself for the shot, when out of nowhere Casey slides and takes it from their man. Brilliant. They come again. This time the ball from the left is curling and hanging and Thorniley is back peddling, springing and stretching his spine and neck as far as it will go and heading away. Brilliant again. C'mon Pool! 

A bit of a break in pressure. A corner. In it comes. Madine does his best little far post vanishing and reappearing magicians act and crashes it towards goal. YESSSS! NOOOO! Again, their keeper has pulled out a blinder, some kind of magical Schmeichel-esque starfish stop that seemed to defy logic. 

Madine fights for the ball. The Bournemouth defender just about stops short of using a straightjacket on him, but the ref is fine with that. Kev Stewart is covered in mud. He's wrestled by one, but he's got the ball. He's clipped then just about rugby tackled by another. That's all fine. Play on lads. A Blackpool player coughs. The ref blows up. I wish he would blow up. Literally. Boom. Gone. Ideally vapourised so no one gets splattered by him. 

The time ticks by. Lavery is on for Jerry. Bournemouth are throwing all their impressive players on the bench on up front. I notice they have a fake Josh Bowler. I'm getting very nervous. Wor Gaz is sliding in making tackles. No, really, he is. Honestly. 

They go down the left. It's dug in by the fake Josh Bowler. Connelly get a slight touch. It wrong foots everyone except their lad at the far post. He steers it home. I nearly cry. For fuck's sake. It's no one's fault, it's no one's mistake, it's just one of those goals that feels like shit cos it's right in front of you and it's a deflection from a player trying to make another heroic block and it just not being quite enough and it ending with a shitty tap in. A shitty tap in after all that effort. Fuck off football. 

Still. Maybe we can make it up? Maybe we can get back? We look knackered though. Bournemouth are just wheelbarrowing cash on to the pitch and we're on our arses. They drink their energy drinks off little silver trays that butlers bring out to them as they regroup after the goal. We have some stuff Mike Garrity got from Macro that Mike Garrity lobs on. 

The added time goes up. 5 minutes? Why? The five minutes seems to stretch out for ages. They press. They put it wide. They get wrong side of us. They knock it between themselves very quickly and that little lad from Peterborough gets in and slides it home. 

If the first hurt, this one is just agony. It's a shape blade drawn across the throat. This time, they did kind of outplay us and we looked stuck in the mud as they skated through and round. It's so painful. It's as if the one time we turned our back on a game that we'd fought and fought in, we got shot. There's something about this defeat that just doesn't sit right. 

When we were in front the ref got all shirty with Grimshaw about taking kicks quicker. He just stands and watches them celebrate for about 90 seconds when they go in front. Cos, why not? It's only Blackpool. 

The whistle goes. 


Only dickheads who ring 606 even though 'I wasn't at the game Robbie but...' go on about refs. Refs are part and parcel of the game and it's good craic shouting at them and chuckling to yourself when you get a soft penalty or when they miss your defender scything someone down. They're human and to err is to be human and I'd rather have human error than the infinite regress of VAR every day of the week.

VAR is death. 

There was something weird about today though. There were absolutely stonewall decisions ignored and pattern in the decisions that just felt a bit strange. I can't say for sure why, but it felt as if the officials all had... 

a) a terrible childhood holiday in Blackpool where it rained all week, the Sandcastle was closed, a donkey stood on their foot and their dad ran off with a 'funny girl' from 'Funny Girls' and they thus decided to use today as therapy. 
b) some kind of subconscious assumption that cos Bournemouth are minted that any 50/50 decision *must* be theirs as obviously, our players are just tinpot shite in comparison to their football wizards and we'd only be able to get the ball off them by fouling.  
c) contact from a far east betting syndicate. 
d) Scott Parker's credit card details... (Dear Ref. Please make sure Boreham Wood does not happen again if you know what I mean. Get yerself and yer linos something nice. Also, treat the wife and kids. Love 'n' hugs. Scotty.) 

...I'm being unreasonable. I know. But still... It was a bit... well... weird. I know what a shite ref feels like and... I dunno. Fuck it. We was robbed. 

We gave everything to that game and 3 points wouldn't have been outrageous, not by a long way. A point would have been one of those things, but to lose it just feels like getting what you wanted for Christmas then breaking it on Christmas Day. There's positives and all that, but fuck that. I'm sulking like a little kid.

No one deserves moaning at and plenty of them deserve praise. Kev Stewart is a better player than the player he's become in our heads as we've (probably unreasonably) fumed at his seemingly permanently fragility. Jordan Gabriel is magic. Bowler, what can we say? CJ, Madine so nearly got goals, Connolly is a presence and a force who makes up for his lack of finesse in sheer effort and will, Thorniley is doing everything he could humanly do and so on. 

The players deserved better. The manager deserved better. The crowd deserved better. Bournemouth have spend shit loads to be average and brought about 300 fans and their stadium is more like a crown green bowls venue than a football ground and yet they've got 3 points and we've got none. 

Football can fuck off. Fuming. 


You can follow MCLF on facebook or Twitter or use to get posts sent to your email

If you appreciate the blog and judge it worth 1p or more, then a donation to one of the causes below which help kids and families in Blackpool would be grand. Home-Start Blackpool Food Bank

1 comment:

  1. Spot on Mitch Cook's Left Foot! You put into words exactly how I felt. Robbed, mugged, an unjust outcome which just went against any fairness or justice. The ugly side of the beautiful game, my weekend ruined. I am 65 for heaven's sake!! How can it still do this to me?


Follow on Twitter!

Get MCLF in your inbox!

Subscribe with a feedreader!

Buy the book (proceeds to Blackpool Foodback)

Yet another bad owner. Where do they breed them?

This is Brooks Mileson. He owned Gretna FC. If you don't know who he is or what the score is with Gretna, it might be worth giving it ...